\ ˈshrimp How to pronounce shrimp (audio) , especially Southern ˈsrimp \
plural shrimp or shrimps

Definition of shrimp

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : any of numerous mostly small and marine decapod crustaceans (suborders Dendrobranchiata and Pleocyemata) having a slender elongated body, a compressed abdomen, and a long spiny rostrum and including some (especially family Penaeidae) that are commercially important as food also : a small crustacean (such as an amphipod or a branchiopod) resembling the true shrimp
2 usually disparaging : a very small or puny person or thing


shrimped; shrimping; shrimps

Definition of shrimp (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to fish for or catch shrimp

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Other Words from shrimp


shrimplike \ ˈshrimp-​ˌlīk How to pronounce shrimplike (audio) , ˈsrimp-​ \ adjective
shrimpy \ ˈshrim-​pē How to pronounce shrimpy (audio) , ˈsrim-​ \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for shrimp

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Noun

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Examples of shrimp in a Sentence

Noun He's a little shrimp of a boy. the boy was just a shrimp until his teens, when he had a growth spurt
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This results in an ultra-creamy, hearty dish that can hold its own, but also tastes amazing with other Southern favorites like fried chicken or spicy shrimp, says Grillo. Kelsey Ogletree, Better Homes & Gardens, "9 Clever Ways to Use Cream Cheese That Go Beyond a Bagel Topper," 1 July 2020 Under blue skies on Father’s Day, Alli sold her second-to-last shrimp ’n grits to Kelvin Wright, a longtime Puddin’ customer at Eastern Market. Emily Davies, Washington Post, "Dupont Circle Farmers Market adds new vendors after black businesses said they were denied access because of race," 26 June 2020 Just when Commissioner Rob Manfred faced a severe demotion — responsible only for the shrimp and cocktail sauce at company banquets — baseball played its last card and is expected to begin games in late July. Bruce Jenkins,, "As baseball plans its return, some suggestions for a much-needed overhaul," 23 June 2020 In addition to chicken, Palmer’s will also serve catfish, shrimp, wraps and salads. Sarah Blaskovich, Dallas News, "Hot hot hot: 3 reasons why Nashville hot chicken is heating up one Dallas neighborhood," 22 June 2020 On the inside, creeks feeding into the ICW and residential docks hold keeper-size trout and reds—a live shrimp under a popping cork is the best bet but a DOA Shrimp or a Vudu Shrimp also does the job; Frank Sargeant, al, "Friday Fishing Report," 19 June 2020 Many larger hitchhikers such as shrimp and crabs often prey on smaller shell inhabitants. Corryn Wetzel, National Geographic, "Sea turtles can carry more than 100,000 tiny animals on their shells," 15 June 2020 Pacific Seafood shut down operations at its five Newport locations on June 7 after 127 coronavirus cases were linked to its shrimp processing facility. Jamie Goldberg, oregonlive, "Coronavirus outbreaks surge among Oregon food processors as state scrambles to react," 14 June 2020 Some classic favorites are chicken, beef, shrimp, fish and roasted veggies. Tanya Edwards, CNN Underscored, "Everything you need for the perfect taco night at home," 18 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb According to the press release, appetizers available include caprese salad skewers, shrimp cocktail and blackened steak tips with wild mushroom demi-glaze. Emma Dale, Detroit Free Press, "Meeting House Grand Ballroom to cater events off-site amid COVID-19 pandemic," 18 June 2020 Consider steak and portobello hash ($17), a chile en nogada omelet ($16) and shrimp and grits ($14.50). Georgann Yara, azcentral, "Father's Day 2020: 48 metro Phoenix restaurants with special deals for dine-in and takeout," 15 June 2020 Newport prides itself on its Dungeness crab and shrimp exports, and the Oregon Coast Aquarium draws thousands of visitors every year. oregonlive, "In the coastal town of Newport, a coronavirus outbreak spreads to local economy," 11 June 2020 In some lakes and rivers, catfish are drawn to lights shining down from docks, bridges, and channel markers that attract minnows, shrimp, and other forage. Popular Science, "A beginner’s guide to freshwater fishing," 1 June 2020 Ann wrote about the broiler as your best path to shrimp nirvana. The Washington Post, "Free Range on Food: We're here to answer all your cooking questions and what to do with sourdough discard, bread baking, this week's recipes and more!," 27 May 2020 The move resulted in new protections for nesting beaches in Texas and Mexico, and requirements that shrimp fisheries in the Gulf use excluder devices to prevent the reptiles from being captured in trawls. National Geographic, "THE BEST OF NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX," 17 Apr. 2020 Mooney listened to shrimp snap their claws in the colder water of North Carolina and compared the rates of snapping to a similar species living in the warmer tropical waters around the US Virgin Islands. Eric Niiler, Wired, "The Sea Is Getting Warmer. Will the Shrimp Get Louder?," 28 Feb. 2020 In addition to the sushi rolls, the restaurant also serves a selection of seafood: ceviche tostadas, aguachiles and shrimp cocktail among them. Mark Kurlyandchik, Detroit Free Press, "Best New Restaurant No. 5: Taqueria y Cenaduria Triángulo Dorado, Detroit," 14 Feb. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'shrimp.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of shrimp


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1808, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for shrimp


Middle English shrimpe; akin to Middle Low German schrempen to contract, wrinkle, Old Norse skorpna to shrivel up

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Time Traveler for shrimp

Time Traveler

The first known use of shrimp was in the 14th century

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Statistics for shrimp

Last Updated

4 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Shrimp.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for shrimp


How to pronounce shrimp (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of shrimp

: a small shellfish that has a long body and legs and that is eaten as food
informal : a very small or unimportant person


\ ˈshrimp How to pronounce shrimp (audio) \

Kids Definition of shrimp

1 : a small shellfish of the sea that is related to the crabs and lobsters and is often used for food
2 : a very small or unimportant person or thing

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